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Alex Morgan, Lindsey Horan will co-captain USWNT at 2023 World Cup
United States

Alex Morgan, Lindsey Horan will co-captain USWNT at 2023 World Cup

Updated Jul. 7, 2023 6:37 p.m. ET

Lindsey Horan and Alex Morgan have been named U.S. women's national team captains for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup, which begins in two weeks.

Both have worn the captain's armband on multiple occasions in the past (Horan nine times, Morgan 22 times), but Becky Sauerbrunn has been the team's longtime captain. Sauerbrunn, though, did not make this World Cup squad due to a nagging injury. 

After that news broke, coach Vlatko Andonovski said that "Becky will always be our captain." Though he acknowledged filling her shoes had been "extensively discussed" and that he and his staff would make an announcement once they had talked to the rest of the team.

Morgan told reporters on Friday that the decision was Andonovski's alone, and that she and Horan are happy to share the responsibility.

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"I think the goal of being captain is that your role doesn't change significantly, the way you approach being a leader or teammate doesn't change significantly," Morgan said. "But there are little things like being an advocate for your teammates and coaches, making sure things flow more fluidly, and then just being a good representative of the team. And I think myself and Lindsey already do that.

"I think there are a lot of leaders on this team that already have shown that and done that for years," Morgan added. "We're both in the stages in our career where we're ready for it and have gained the respect of our teammates. We feel really good and confident in where we are and I'm just honored to be a captain alongside Lindsey."

Horan agreed, saying, "It's truly an honor, especially here with Alex."

As recently as USWNT media day last week, Andonovski was not ready to make his decision public. Though Horan, Morgan and Megan Rapinoe were selected as the three players to address reporters in a formal press conference at media day while the 20 other players were conducted interviews in a roundtable format.

U.S. Soccer said that when both Horan and Morgan are on the field — which will be often — Horan will wear the armband. Morgan, who plays for the San Diego Wave in the NWSL, has 206 USWNT caps, 121 goals and will play in her fourth World Cup. Horan, who plays for Lyon in France, has 128 caps, 27 goals and will play in her second World Cup.

"We have a lot of leaders on this team among the young players and the veteran players, and among those, Lindsey and Alex have vast experience in big games, and they understand what it takes to win at the highest levels," Andonovski said in a statement. "They are ultimate professionals and understand all the factors that go into having a united and motivated team. I know they will represent us well on and off the field at the World Cup."

At the 2019, the U.S. had three captains and Morgan believes it will be a team effort again this summer because of how many natural leaders there are in the group.

"It's not only us," Morgan said. "There are a lot of players who have stepped up in a position of leadership over the last years. I think the shared load makes it easier because we are in this together. There's no one player that needs to carry the load of everyone else."

Laken Litman covers college football, college basketball and soccer for FOX Sports. She previously wrote for Sports Illustrated, USA Today and The Indianapolis Star. She is the author of "Strong Like a Woman," published in spring 2022 to mark the 50th anniversary of Title IX. Follow her on Twitter @LakenLitman.

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